Iowa History Journal is a magazine whose goal is to preserve the history of the state and present it in a fashion that is both educational and entertaining. It includes articles on business leaders, politicians, sports personalities and entertainers. Mike Chapman, a native of Waterloo and long-time Iowa newspaperman, is the publisher. He has worked on several Iowa newspapers, including The Gazette in Cedar Rapids (sports editor) and the Daily News in Newton (publisher). He is the author of 23 books, and has two screenplays in Hollywood. He is a member of six halls of fame and is the founder of the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute & Museum in Waterloo, Iowa.
A native of Waterloo, Iowa, Mike Chapman retired from a 35-year newspaper career in 2002 and is the publisher of the exciting new magazine, Iowa History Journal. The publication comes out six times a year and offers stories about the people and events that have helped shape the state's wonderful heritage.
Mr. Chapman is an accomplished author and public speaker. He has written 23 books and his articles have appeared in dozens of national and regional magazines. He has met and interviewed such people as Ronald Reagan, Muhammad Ali, Robert Redford, Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk from TV fame) and many other stars of movies and sports.
Mr. Chapman has appeared on numerous TV shows—including ESPN, A&E, Fox Sports, Iowa Public Television and Fox and Friends. He has been the guest on over 200 radio talk shows.
He has attended 43 NCAA wrestling tournaments, two Olympics and two World Championships. He has won numerous awards for journalism and writing. He has been named National Wrestling Writer of the Year six times, by five different wrestling organizations. He has produced four documentaries on the sport of wrestling.
He is a member of six halls of fame. In 2002, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the CAC (Cauliflower Alley Club, an organization of boxers, wrestlers and movie actors), and in 2007 he received the Order of Merit for lifetime achievement from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He also received the President's Award in 2007 from the Iowa High School Wrestling Coaches Association.
He is also a recognized authority on Tarzan and the Trojan War. In 2004, he was given the "Golden Lion Award," the highest honor in the Tarzan fraternity, which stretches all around the world. A 2006 novel is entitled Achilles: Son of Peleus, Scourge of Troy, the story of the legendary Greek hero who fought at the Trojan War over 3,000 years ago. In October of 2006, Mike visited ancient Troy, in northwestern Turkey, to do more research on Achilles and the Trojan War.
As an athlete, Mike competed in wrestling, judo, sombo and bench press contests. He once bench pressed 440 pounds at a bodyweight of 202 pounds.
Published Books (in chronological order)
- Two Guys Named Dan, Medalist Publications, 1976, the story of wrestling icons Dan Gable and Dan Hodge.
- Kings of the Mat, Enterprise Publishing Co., 1978, the story of the rise of the University of Iowa wrestling program.
- From Gotch to Gable, the University of Iowa Press, 1981, a history of wrestling in the state of Iowa and the entire United States.
- Evy and the Hawks: The Glory Years, Leisure Press, 1982, the story of football coach Forest Evashesvki.
- The Toughest Men in Sports, Leisure Press, 1983, the stories of 11 great one-on-one athletes, including Muhammad Ali, Bruce Lee. Rocky Marciano, Jack Dempsey, Dan Gable, etc.
- The New Breed: Living Iowa Wrestling, 1985, Leisure Press, co-authored with 1984 Olympic champion Lou Banach, about how to become a champion.
- Iowans of Impact, Enterprise Publishing, 1985, Enterprise Publishing co., the stories of 25 Iowans who excelled—including President Herbert Hoover, John Wayne, Donna Reed, Frank Gotch and Dan Gable.
- Fighting Back: The Bob Steenlage Story, 1988, the story of one man's journey from athletic stardom to the Vietnam War, and back from the edge of death. Bob was the first four-time state wrestling champion in Iowa history.
- GOTCH: World's Greatest Wrestler, Hein Publications, 1988, the story of wrestling legend Frank Gotch.
- The Encyclopedia of American Wrestling, Human Kinetics, 1988, a 586-page book full of statistics and stories about wrestling history in the United States.
- Nick and the Cyclones, Human Kinetics, 1989, the story of the Iowa State University wrestling program under Dr. Harold Nichols in the 195-1970 era.
- Gotch: AN American Hero, Culture House Books, 1999, a novel about Frank Gotch, the best-known athlete in America in the early 1900s. Now being considered as a movie.
- Please Don't Call Me Tarzan, Culture House Books, 2001, a biography of movie actor Herman Brix (aka Bruce Bennett), who was an Olympic star and appeared in over 120 films.
- The Gold and The Glory, Culture House Books, 2002, a biography of Glenn Morris, 1936 Olympic decathlon champion and movie Tarzan, as well as World War II naval officer.
- The Sport of Lincoln, Culture House Books, 2003, the story of Abe Lincoln's historic wrestling match with Jack Armstrong in New Salem, Illinois, in 1832.
- Lowell Park, McMillen Publishing Co., 2003, a historical novel about a young woman's journey back in time to meet Abe Lincoln in 1832 and Ronald Reagan in 1932, in a place called Lowell Park. Has been purchased by Empire film Group and is to be a movie in 2010.
- Tom Tyler: From Cowboy Star to Super Hero, Culture House Books, 2004, 129 pages, a biography of 1930s film star Tom Tyler. He was a major "B" cowboy star, national weightlifting star, and serial actor playing heroes like the Phantom and Captain Marvel before being struck down by tragedy at age 50.
- ACHILLES: Son of Peleus, Scourge of Troy, historical novel about the greatest hero of the Trojan War, Culture House Books, 2004.
- Wrestling Tough, Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL., 2005, 268 pages, a look at how great athletes like Tom Brands (1996 Olympic champion), Arnold Schwarzenegger (bodybuilding), Lance Armstrong (cycling) and others prepared for greatness.
- Legends of the Mat, 2007, Culture House Books, the biographies of 34 American amateur wrestling champions, 188 pages. Hard bound, oversize, over 70 photos.
- The Life and Legacy of Frank Gotch, Paladin Publishing Co., Boulder, Co., 2007, 150 pages, an in-depth look at Frank Gotch's impact on the American wrestling scene.
- Oklahoma Shooter: The Dan Hodge Story, Culture House Books, 2009, 186 pages, the story of a boy growing up in the Depression and dust storms of Oklahoma to become a wrestling icon.
- Caddock: Walnut's Wrestling Wonder, the story of a young wrestler who goes from an Iowa farm to heavyweight champion of the world in 1917, when the sport was still a genuine athletic competition. The 88 page book has many photos.
- Lou Thesz: AN American Icon, 1992
- TNT: The Tom and Terry Brands Story (Olympic and NCAA champions from the University of Iowa)
- GOTCH: An Iowa Hero
- A Tribute to Joe Stecher
Two Screenplays in Hollywood
- Lowell Park
- GOTCH: An American Hero